It has always been said that goalkeepers are a different breed entirely and Leo Passmore ticks that box.
Now in his second year as the Derry minor hurling goalkeeper, he also has experience of life between the sticks in football.
The Loreto College student is tipped to replace two time senior football championship goalkeeper Ryan McGeough in the Coleraine team.
Which code of goalkeeping is easier?
“Hurling, I am better at it,” Passmore told the County Derry Post.
“In football if you get hit with a football it stings, in hurling it is just a bruise for a few weeks. In hurling, in the heat of the game, it is just a thud and you don’t really feel it.”
Growing up Passmore didn’t think the goalkeeper jersey was something he’d end up wearing.
“You always had admiration for ‘keepers and when I was growing up (Anthony) Nash was in nets, and I watched Stephen O’Keefe coming out to save that 21 free from Nash…..that was ridiculous.”
The reference was to the infamous 2014 Munster championship game and the save that left the Deise ‘keeper with a distinctive bruise.
Donal Óg (Cusack) and Brendan Cummins were winding down but Passmore was taken in by Darren Gleeson’s puck-outs.
“I remember standing behind him in Croke Park and you could see the precision he had but it (goalkeeper) was never a place I thought I’d end up.”
In the grade above himself, with Coleraine, he would always play in goals.
The in the first year of the Celtic Challenge, Derry were struggling for numbers and Passmore was one of those asked to come to the rescue but was still an U15. Too young.
“Then Kevin (Kelly) got involved and we got treated well. We got gear, there was regular training and it was a proper setup,” he outlined of the season that saw them win division three of the Celtic Challenge.
“I never saw myself as doing nets, but it was an opportunity to get into the Derry team. I thought I’d be the goalkeeper if I go and if I went for outfield, I might not get on.”
They lost to Down in the group stages but it was the only blot on the copybook. Facile wins over Meath and Wicklow saw them take on Galway Tribesmen in the final.
“We were six points up and they scored a goal from a 21 yard free with the last puck, so it didn’t really matter much after that,” was Passmore’s take on the final, after the suggestion that he was an integral part of the team.
“After Jamie Murray scored the goal it was pretty much set in stone, he gets too much credit for it,” he joked.
Later in the year, he picked up an Ulster Schools’ All-Star, something he also played down.
“I had it lucky with the players I had in front of me and I had one or two saves in the final trial. The other ‘keeper came up against the best two corner forwards at the trial.”
Back in the colours of Derry, Offaly pose the first test as his side bid for back to back All-Irelands, something Passmore feels is within their grasp.
“The team this year is a lot stronger around the fringes and the forward line is very good,” was his assessment.
Since the group stages the training has continued, with players given time to prepare for their exams.
While some of his Coleraine club-mates signed off on sport during their intense study spell, Leo had a different outlook.
“An hour on a Friday is not going to hurt anyone,” he said. “I am not going to be training every hour and rather than spending an hour on your phone, it is better to go to training and get that done……it is good craic as well.”
Goalkeepers are different, but Derry’s defence will rest easy this weekend with the presence and confidence of Passmore behind them.
For more Celtic Challenge build-up, grab a copy of this week's County Derry Post, in shops on Tuesday.
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